Brandon R. Combs
The future of Spartan golf is looking bright. With a crop of talented freshmen and transfers plus reigning Southern Conference Freshman of the Year, Bryce Hendrix, this roster is looking stacked. Fresh off a strong overall performance at the Virginia Commonwealth University Janney Invitational, we sat down this week with golfer Joseph Cansler to get his thoughts on the season so far, upcoming golf matches, and more.
Joseph has been one of UNCG’s strongest early season performers and as a transfer straight out of Surry Community College, is a just one of the recent additions to an increasingly talented golf roster this season.
Fresh off his strong performance, Joseph Cansler gave us an insight on his team’s performance from the first tournament.
“(I) feel pretty good, obviously it was our first tournament so we didn’t play quite as well as we wanted to. Myself and Josh Stockwell played fairly solid, we both finished at 3 under for the two days. We’re looking forward to going back and playing this weekend at UNC. So hopefully we can play a little bit better.”
Even more impressive of Joseph and his team’s performance this week is that it came during an event that was hampered and shortened by rain. Even with the rain delays, Joseph Cansler finished 18th overall out of a field of 80 golfers.
“I feel we did pretty well handling the rain. The rain softened up the course a lot, so when we got back out there, some people were making a bunch of birdies.”
Sadly, the rain was not quite enough to put the Spartans over the top as the fell from 8th overall in a field of 14 to 10th overall. Joseph again voiced his concerns by saying that.
“Unfortunately, we continued doing what we had been doing before it started raining, so we feel behind. We were only making par while everyone else was making birdies”
Joseph is a fresh transfer here at UNCG. While transferring is always a massive change, Joseph was ready for the challenge. He described the process and reason for choosing UNCG.
“It hasn’t been a big adjustment. I really like it here. The school is great. Teachers are great. Anytime we have to go out of town, they are very nice about letting us leave with little issue” he said. “The athletic department too is amazing and all of them are very helpful. Everything is taken care of very well. Perfect example would be last night at our donor dinner. We just had to show up and have a very nice meal.”
Like many other golfers, Joseph became acquainted to the game of golf at an early age. Introduced to the game before the age of 5 by a cousin, he has hardly let up since. Joseph’s love of the sport is easy to see.
“What drives me to (golf) is it’s a game you can’t perfect. You can play great but you can always do better. you never reach perfection in it.”
While perfection is impossible to obtain in golf, Joseph certainly has strong thoughts in what he hopes to see moving forward this season.
“The biggest thing for us to do is to keep a good attitude. Obviously we want to go out and play well, make a bunch of birdies. But if we can just stay in our own game, and keep our heads cleared away, I think the other stuff will take care of itself.”
Also of interest is that the recent VCU Janney Invitational marks the first time in two years that UNCG has had two golfers finish three under par or better. Josh Stockwell and Joseph Cansler both finished three under tied at 18th overall. While the team this year shows great talent there are always things that can be improved upon. Joseph too has some ideas on how to improve the team.
“We always need to work on our short-game. I wouldn’t quite call it a weakness, but it’s always something that can be improved. We all hit the drives well, we all hit the irons well, it comes down to chipping and putting. That’s who wins the tournament. Whoever is doing that best over any given weekend.”
With the first event behind them, we cannot wait to see where this season takes the Spartan golfers. Stayed tuned this coming week as the Spartans take on the Tar Heel Invitational at Finely Golf Course in Chapel Hill on October 8 and 9.